College of Agriculture, Food & Environment

Animal Sciences

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Animal Sciences involves studying and applying the basic principles of nutrition, reproduction, and genetics to the production and management of animals: horses, dairy and beef cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, and other domesticated species.

we grow careers

To keep pace with the food, fiber, and recreation requirements of a growing world population, Animal Sciences graduates are needed in the livestock industry and closely related fields. The Animal Sciences major offers considerable flexibility in fulfilling specific career objectives, whether you are interested in working directly with livestock or indirectly in closely related areas such as agribusiness, research, government, or education.

Possible career fields include:

  • Agribusiness & Finance
  • Allied Animal Industries
  • Animal Production
  • Animal Promotion & Public Relations
  • College & University (research, technician, extension, instruction)
  • Dairy Food & Meat Science Industry
  • Extension & Education
  • Government Agencies
  • Research & Laboratories
  • Veterinary Medicine*
  • Zoos, Kennels, Clinics, and Animal Preserves

*Note that students completing the pre-professional option have fulfilled the necessary requirements for most veterinary colleges.

what you'll study 

As an Animal Sciences major, you have the opportunity to pursue specific interests by selecting one of three study options:

  • Animal Industry (animal production and management for livestock, equine, or dairy)
  • Food Industry (food processing, chemistry, and safety)
  • Pre-Professional (veterinary sciences, human medicine, and graduate research)

Students get hands-on experience with the university livestock herds and flocks in addition to the meats and research laboratories.  Internships, undergraduate research experiences, study abroad programs, and student mentorships will offer you opportunities to gain a variety of experiences.  

Additionally, you have the opportunity  to take advantage of various extracurricular activities including:

  • Livestock, Meats, and Dairy Judging Teams
  • Dairy Challenge Team
  • Block and Bridle Club
  • Dairy Club
  • Pre-Vet Club

Imagine Your Future

Agricultural and Food Scientists

Agricultural and food scientists research ways to improve the efficiency and safety of agricultural establishments and products.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary


per year in 2017

Work Environment

Agricultural and food scientists work in various industries, including colleges and universities, manufacturing, and in scientific research and development. They work in offices, laboratories, and, sometimes, food production facilities. Most agricultural and food scientists work full time.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Similar Occupations

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Agricultural and Food Science Technicians
  • Biochemists and Biophysicists
  • Biological Technicians
  • Chemical Technicians
  • Conservation Scientists and Foresters
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists
  • Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers
  • Microbiologists
  • Veterinarians
  • Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Enhancing Your Time at UK

There are countless ways to “see blue.” on campus, but the best way to maximize your journey at the University of Kentucky is by engaging in an Education Abroad opportunity.

This will allow you to gain a global perspective and enhance future employability. As you take the first step towards investing in your future, we encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities UK has to offer. Take a look at some of the options UK Education Abroad & Exchanges office suggests to complement your major! #SeeBlueAbroad

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